It offers a number of route variations: a Robben Island crossing from Robben Island to Blouberg Beach or Three Anchor Bay, or around the Island or any combination thereof.
Robben Island lies in Table Bay, some 7.4km from the nearest land and within sight of Cape Town. The Island is of considerable historical and political significance to South Africans and is a World Heritage Site. The buildings on the Island are a reminder of its sad history but the same buildings also show the power of the human spirit, freedom and the victory of democracy over oppression.
The first Robben Island swim was recorded swim in 1909 when Henry Charteris Hooper swam from Robben Island to the old Cape Town harbour. It took Hooper just under 7 hours to complete the swim of approximately 11km. Since then hundreds of individuals have done the crossing from or to Robben Island and various points on the coast. Despite the relatively short distances (the main swims between Robben Island and the mainland are between 7.4km and 11km) swimming Robben Island has become a challenge even to accomplished swimmers, mostly due to the cold water temperature. The swim remains an ideal for many swimmers worldwide because of the physical challenge, as well as the historical significance of the Island.
Robben Island - Blouberg - Robben Island
Cape Town - Robben Island
Whether to start this swim on the Island or on the mainland depends on wind and current direction. Most Robben Island swims are from the Island to Big Bay. The Robben Island crossing has been swum as a double, triple and even a quadruple.
The swim can be done either way, all depends on wind and current direction.
This swim generally goes from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Blouberg. The predominant wind dictates direction.
The swim is done clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on currents and the preference of the swimmer.
12 - 15 °C
1909 Henry Charteris Hooper
2004 Aditja Raout
2014 Otto Thaning
2013 Troy Prinsloo 01:23:54